Leonard W. Besinger Jr., 76, of Marengo, formerly of Oak Park, died on Aug. 14, 2011 following an auto accident in New Mexico. Born in Chicago, he grew up in Oak Park and graduated from Oak Park and River Forest High School. Like his childhood hero, Ernest Hemingway, he had a taste for fishing and adventure.
The Rev. M. Randolph Thompson did not have a problem with people viewing him as a role model. If fact, he welcomed it. He said so in an interview with Wednesday Journal in 1997 after our paper that year named him Villager of the Year.
Dr. Geoffrey (Geoff) Mark Adkins, 60, a longtime resident of River Forest, died on July 30, 2011 after a long illness. He attended Chicago Public Schools and earned both a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Chicago and a medical degree.
Mary Elizabeth Sharpe (nee O'Hara), 94, of Huntley, formerly of Oak Park, Chicago and Beverly Hills, Fla., died on Aug. 5, 2011 at St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin. Born on April 3, 1917 in Baltimore, Md., to John and Grace O'Hara, the family moved to Oak Park soon after.
Lois E. Ebinger, 97, died on Aug. 4, 2011 at the Berkley Nursing Center. She lived in Oak Park all of her life, except for the years she spent teaching nursing at Yale University and Vanderbilt University. For the last 10 years, she resided at Oak Park's Holley Court Terrace Retirement Community.
Marek R. Niziolek, 58, of Forest Park, formerly of Oak Park, died on July 23, 2011. Born on July 12, 1953 in Ostrów Wielko, Poland, at an early age he moved to Warsaw and also lived in Austria before coming to the United States in August of 1982.
Leonard J. Houha, 81, of Broadview, formerly of Oak Park, died on July 27, 2011. He served as a cartographer in the U.S. Army. A 1953 graduate of DePaul University College of Law, he was a practicing attorney in Oak Park for over 50 years.
Lois Wells Reed, 87, of Oak Park, died on June 28, 2011. After earning a master's degree in early childhood development from the University of Chicago, she spent many years teaching pre-school. She enjoyed traveling with family and friends to Hawaii, Europe, Egypt, China and throughout the United States.
The leader of the band is gone. William F. Williams, 90, died peacefully in his sleep on March 1, 2011, surrounded by his loving wife, Peggy, and an excellent support staff at the V.A. Hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This was the island he loved, where he lived for more than 50 years and where he ran a successful business.
Inger Olson Klumpner, 86, died on July 20, 2011. Born on April 26, 1925 in Alafors, Sweden in the house that her father and grandfather built, she came to the United States as a very young girl and settled in a Swedish community on Chicago's South Side near Hyde Park.